While many of his peers use digital platforms (social media) to share jokes, selfies, pornography and argue politics -more often than not in uncouth language- Thabiso Kefalotse is using digital platforms to market his passion to the world.
One morning, Thabiso decided to quit his day job to focus on art full time. Among a growing list of international celebrities he has drawn thus far are Steve Harvey, Rowan Atkinson of Mr Bean fame, Mother Teresa, the noblest humanitarian in history, and closer home Itumeleng Khune, Prince KB of South Africa. In an interview, Thabiso said he describes himself an aspiring hyper realistic artist, explaining that hyper realism is a type of art where one can’t tell or distinguish between the photograph or the live image and the actual drawing. Basically his art explores bringing pictures to life in a form a drawing, painting or sculpture, but in pencil drawing.
“For now I haven’t reached this level of art but it’s where I’m heading. I chose to draw celebrities because I figured people would recognise them and still be able to recognise my talent or skill in the process. It wasn’t to say that they are my main focus, more of a marketing idea really,” he emphasised.
He said he draws mostly celebrities that he relate with and admire most.
Social media for him has been the biggest advantage, saying almost all the people who have bought his art come from social media and Batswana have been so receptive of the art by sharing it so it plays a huge role in his life right now. He went on to indicate that he wasn’t expecting that the celebrities that he draws will be able to reach his art, saying that but after Han-c acknowledged the drawing he did of him and actually decided to buy the drawing, it just opened his eyes to all the possibilities.
“After him Cassper Nyovest retweeted my drawing on twitter and that helped me gain some followers and clientele. I then drew Prince Kaybee who by luck came to Botswana and I was able to meet up with him and he bought the piece, it was surreal because I’m a huge fan of his music. And he even posted it on all his social media platforms and that really boosted my following,’’ said delighted Kefalotse.
He also said his art reached Kaizer Chiefs star Itumeleng Khune who also retweeted and talked to him on twitter thanking him for the drawing I did of him, which also helped in boosting my followers and getting new clients.
On meeting Steve Harvey
Lately, the 25 year old artist said he drew Steve Harvey after hearing about his coming to Botswana, and he also got to receive the art which he rejoice to be really the highlight of his life right now.
Kefalotse emphasis meeting Steve Harvey who this week visited Botswana to be his major highlight of his life adding that have looked up to him for the longest time as his supporter. “His story is an inspiration to me and I basically listen to his motivation talks every day. So meeting him was a dream comes true if I am being honest. And the way it happened was just crazy. I just posted the picture on my social media platforms, and people shared it, until I got calls and messages from people trying to help me get the drawing to him,” he said.
Some of the challenges he says he face are just the common ones, lack of resources, and the materials he uses are only available abroad and shipping to Botswana is almost impossible to achieve. Lack of space to work in, also means that he can’t really produce the biggest pieces he wanted because he works from home. “That’s limiting in a way. But regardless of the problems and challenges I have found that it’s better to focus on the positive and becoming more resourceful with what I have. My art is for sale, and I do commissioned work for clients or anyone who wants to have a piece done by me,” he added.